Square Enix President On Globalization And Going Digital

By Ishaan . July 5, 2010 . 3:13pm


Square Enix president, Yoichi Wada, has been very vocal about the need for Japanese publishers to globalize and expand into different genres and revenue streams these past two years. To facilitate this goal at his own company, in 2009, Wada officially completed a purchase of the London-based Eidos Interactive, known for franchises such as Tomb Raider and Legacy of Kain.


In addition, Square have also taken to publishing an increasing number of Western games both in their home market in Japan, as well as overseas. The highlight of the company’s presence at E3 last month, according to Wada, was a more diverse line-up of games, spanning across a wider variety of genres then before. The next step, he feels, is digitization and network-centric games.


“As a company, we are pursuing globalization and a transformation to become network-centric,” Wada revealed in an interview with Venturebeat. “To do that, we are working on collaborative projects between Eidos and our Tokyo studio. We think this will be very interesting. The Tokyo studio created the trailer for Deux Ex: Human Revolution. Eidos is making the game in Montreal. This type of collaboration enhances a dialogue among our studios and that will lead to something new.”


Human Revolution, however, is a packaged game. And while Final Fantasy XIV represents a step toward a more network-centric product, Square are also interested in games based on the idea of social-networking. According to Wada, it’s increasingly important that his company invest in these sectors, as, going forward, “dependence on packaged software sales may not be viable.”


The appeal of going digital, in his view, is the scope for more flexible pricing models and a wider range of revenue streams, through products such as purchasable avatars or electronic picture books. These, he feels, will help compensate for the wide gap between successful and unsuccessful retail games. Despite new hardware announcements at E3, Wada believes that the real platform battle is being silently fought between services such as Xbox Live, WiiWare and PlayStation Network.


“We have to appeal to customers with different preferences,” Wada stated in conclusion to his thoughts on globalization. “Sega did not succeed. Konami did not succeed. Namco Bandai did not succeed. Western publishers have not succeeded in selling in Japan. Nobody has succeeded at globalization.”

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  • epy

    I’m pretty sure Capcom suceeded.

    Wada is just looking for an excuse to announce that FFXV is going to be an FPS.

    • lostinblue

      Somewhat, taking Monster Hunter, Street Fighter and Megaman aside… the Capcom thinking is to appease the western markets, it warrants them market no doubt but I’d say they’re more successful outside japan than on it.

    • doomspeller10

      And probably in some sick twist next Tomb Raider will be an old school RPG with the Terranigma outworld. XDD

      • RupanIII

        Haha I’d play that

    • RupanIII

      loll I’ll have to echo what a friend said, that they should just outsource FFXV to the people who made Barkley: Shut up and Jam Gaiden (Tales of Games Studios)

  • Eddie

    Well he has big ambitions. More power to him and SE.

  • Pichi

    “Nobody has succeeded at globalization”

    Someone has succeeded, and that’s Nintendo.

  • ShinGundam

    Inb4 Secret of Evermore 2 XDDDD

  • kupomogli

    If they go digital only and/or start releasing a bunch of DLC pre release DLC, then I can say that I won’t pick up the game. If I’m purchasing a game it better be a complete game. I’m tired of companies trying to nickel and dime their customers.

    100% of DS games and 99% of PSP games are complete games the moment they’re released. No DLC required to complete the title. I’m not a fan of Nintendo, but maybe I should get the Wii. Just like the DS and PSP, atleast most of these games are complete on the games release.

  • pedrron

    The last Tomb Raider was released digital only right? Does anyone know how that sold?

  • Japanese dont play western game … but western gamers play japanese games … poor japanese …

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